Private speech therapy is one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve your speech and work through specific issues. Whether you’re dealing with language delays, physical limitations, or the result of trauma, speech and language therapy can help you.
While private sessions can be more beneficial than group therapy, you want to ensure you work with a properly qualified speech therapist. Read on to learn what qualifications and credentials to look for in a private speech therapist.
Before starting or joining a practice, all prospective speech therapists must pursue the proper education. There are many universities in Canada that offer appropriate programs, including the University of Toronto and Carleton University in Ontario. Before choosing a therapist, it’s always a good idea to ask about their education and what they studied specifically.
The most common undergraduate degree for speech and language pathologists is the study of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). This degree seamlessly leads into the two or three years they’ll then need to spend studying for a Masters in SLP. Before moving forward, always ensure a potential therapist has gone through the necessary educational programs.
While not necessarily required, degrees like linguistics, psychology, and English can be helpful for someone pursuing a career in speech pathology. Some speech disorders and conditions come with a psychological aspect, so having a doctor educated in this area may be best in some cases!
Another thing to look at in potential speech therapists is their specialty. Even if they went to a great school and got plenty of education, they may specialize in something that isn’t quite right for you.
There are many areas in which a speech therapist can specialize. A therapist who has extensive experience in one area may be lacking in the area you need, so this is good to clarify.
The main areas of specialty include:
- Voice and resonance
- Social Communication
- Communication Modalities
While there is a little overlap, some of these are vastly different from each other. Some speech issues stem from a genetic condition that you’re born with or develop. Others are caused by an accident or other trauma. One of the first things you should discuss with a potential speech therapist is what their specialties are.
Some more experienced pathologists may have lots of experience in multiple areas, whereas some may remain focused on one area of speech therapy. You want to make sure that the doctor you choose is fully equipped to help you and the specific things you struggle with.
The best thing you can do is be completely honest and transparent with your therapist. This helps them determine whether or not they’re well-equipped to help you. If not, they may be able to offer a recommendation!
Another thing you want to look for when choosing a private speech therapist is the qualities of their character. A person can have all the education and qualifications in the world, but they also need to conduct themselves in a way that’s approachable, friendly, and collaborative.
You want to look for the following things in your speech therapist:
- They should have good communication skills
- They should be a great listener
- They should be empathetic
- They should have a positive attitude
- They should be able to remain objective
- They should have the utmost patience
- They should be capable with technology
- They should be up to date on the latest trends, techniques, and practices
- They should be adaptable and willing to change the plan as needed once you start making progress
After their education and qualifications, these are some of the most important things a speech pathologist should embody. These qualities are signs that they’ll be a strong, effective, patient, and encouraging therapist that’ll help you get great results.
Another thing to consider in your search for a good private speech therapist is location. The world has evolved quite a bit and with the help of technology, speech therapy can happen in many places outside of a clinic.
A popular and often inexpensive way to access speech therapy for your children is through their school. Sessions are often held during school hours, meaning you don’t have to take additional time out of your day. The downside here is that it can be hard to get private sessions of this sort.
Going into the office or clinic is always an option. This works well for some people as being in a dedicated location may help them focus. For some, though, making the trip out can be difficult, especially if it’s a significant drive. For others, things like anxiety and even physical limitations can make trips to the office hard. And some are simply more comfortable in a familiar location.
This is why we offer travel as part of our services. Whether it’s your own living room or perhaps your office at work, we’ll come to you!
Lastly, the recent surge of video calling technology has made teletherapy appointments available as well. If you’ve found the perfect doctor but there is a great distance between you, you may ask if they offer phone or video appointments. For some, this can be just as effective as meeting in person. Some strategies and treatments may require a physical presence, however. Your doctor can tell you whether this is right for you or not.
Find the Speech Therapist That’s Right for You
When it comes to private speech therapy, you always want to get the most out of your sessions. Whether mild or severe, speech disorders and problems can significantly impact your life. It affects the way you communicate with others and even your confidence!
It’s in your best interest to find a private speech therapist that suits your needs. From education to their specialty to the personal qualities they have as a doctor – don’t hesitate to ask questions. At Therapy Spot we have many therapists available with a wide variety of expertise and specialties. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and set you up with a great therapist.